Connecting the underprivileged to opportunities.
Sahayog Microfinance Limited (SML) began operations in 2009, and is headquartered in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. It provides financial resources to enable poor women of rural, semi-urban and urban communities to come out of poverty and connect with formal financial institutions.
The microfinance activity essentially provides micro-loans under a Joint Liability Group (JLG) model. It has been the first and so far the largest initiative which is being carried out in an Non-banking Financial Company (NBFC, now NBFC-MFI) under the name of Sahayog Microfinance Limited (SML) which is a fully regulatory compliant, client sensitive and preferred lender to its current and potential clients within its respective geographical operational areas.
SML has the advantage of possessing all the key facilitators that are a prerequisite to catapult its growth to the next level:
- An independent Board with a strong governance culture
- A second-level professional management team
- Strong, online transaction software developed in-house, which captures and monitors field transactions on a regular basis and which is being integrated with financial books
- A competent audit team with clearly defined audit procedures, which focus strongly on system compliance, client protection and code of conduct apart from routine audit issues
- A track record and capability of recruiting, training and deploying field employees from fresh talent that is aligned to the organisational culture and objectives
- A fine-tuned field operations methodology to make it more effective and transparent as well as completely change the Comprehensive Group Training (CGT) and Group Recognition Test (GRT) methodology to ensure stronger group culture in line with JLG base purpose
- Strong and growing relationships with institutions and banks such as SIDBI and at least eight public sector banks
- Grant funding support under the Poor State Inclusive Growth (PSIG) Samridhi scheme of the Department for International Development (DFID), U.K.
SML’s microfinance operations have so far been focused within the state of Madhya Pradesh for one main reason – MP is the base of the promoter group and the state continues to be one of the most underpenetrated in terms of real financial inclusion. However, to reduce the risk of concentration in one geographical area, SML has commenced its operation in more states – Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan with a mid-term objective of reducing its portfolio in MP to about 50 percent by March 2016.